Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Hnefatafl on an Old Computer

Hnefatafl on the Oric computer
Hnefatafl on the Oric computer

Friday, 13th September 2013

Along with hnefatafl, another one of my hobbies is retro-computing, especially writing and playing new games on ancient computers. I haven't combined these hobbies yet, but someone else is in the process of doing so: Neil Barnes, a fan of Oric computers, and forum member at the Oric web site

It has been difficult squeezing a functional hnefatafl game into the small memory of the Oric, but Neil has managed it. The computer knows how to enforce the rules, and how to play the attackers' side against your king. Although the computer player isn't strong, the game makes up for this by setting tighter goals: you can play an unlimited game of hnefatafl, or you can pledge to get your king free in a specific number of turns.

Neil has been writing this game for a couple of years now, and has been writing about his progress in the forum ( Though it has taken a while, the program is in a near-finished state now, and Neil is looking for people to help him test the game - especially hnefatafl enthusiasts. You don't need an Oric to play the game. It's much easier using Oric Emulator software, software to make your more up-to-date computer run Oric games. These are easy to install, and Neil supplies full instructions on how to load and play the hnefatafl game.

It would be nice to see hnefatafl introduced to a whole new group of players, the Oric fans. If you would like to help Neil, please get in touch with him by email at .


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